The Law Office of John W. Noonan
925-400-6635 Call For A Free Initial Consultation Se Habla EspaƱol Available 24/7

Instructive, sobering tale: when police findings are botched

Little did a man know that the real fireworks central to a 4th of July evening he spent with friends and a newly introduced woman on a city rooftop would commence months later with a knock on his door at home.

It was the cops. He left the house with them -- in handcuffs and under arrest for a sexual assault on that woman.

In fact, he was charged on a criminal count of felony rape and was under the reasonable assumption, based on what police officials told him, that he could be spending the rest of his life incarcerated.

For a crime he never committed.

In fact, he had not engaged in any contact with the woman at all in July. An account from a witness stated that she was interested in a white male. The arrested man is black. Allegedly, a surveillance tape showed footage of the woman leaving the rooftop with a white male.

Notwithstanding that, the accused black male spent a harrowing 61 days behind bars, frantic with worry, until he was quite suddenly released, with the criminal case against him being totally dropped.

"They said just pack up all my stuff and go," he later said.

Of course, that is exactly what he did, but not without justifiable anger that recent manifested itself in a federal civil complaint filed against police lab technicians. Those individuals had linked rape kit vaginal samples of semen to cigarettes he was smoking that July evening.

Their conclusions were flatly wrong, with reports indicating that a subsequent DNA sample taken to confirm earlier results revealed that the suspect's genetic material "had been identified improperly by the laboratory technicians."

The complaint, filed earlier this month, cites the lab workers for negligent conduct. Among other things, it seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

Although the tale is disturbing, of course, it hardly stands alone as a singular occurrence. Evidentiary errors --- some DNA-based, some grounded in myriad other mistakes made by police officers and other criminal investigators -- occur routinely across Alameda County, the entire Bay Area and the rest of the country (the above story has a Denver, Colorado, nexus).

There is certainly an instructive element to this post's subject matter, namely this: the underscoring of the need for any person arrested on a criminal charge to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney without delay.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Recent Case Results

  • Juvenile Charges

    A juvenile was arrested for 2nd Degree Robbery. After 6 months the case was dismissed.

    A juvenile was arrested for Sexual Battery. After 6 months and 80 hours of Community service, the case was dismissed.

    Read More
  • Drunk Driving Offenses

    A client with a 1st DUI arrest. Fearing she would go to jail; lose her license for a year and lose her job. Got a wet reckless and minimal fines.

    Read More
  • Drug Charges

    A client with 4 Felony charges on a Transportation Charge, a Attempt to Sell, Possession of Marijuana, (50 pounds), Conspiracy Charge all where reduced to 1 Misdemeanor. No Jail.

    Client was charged with 6 Felony drug possessions. Facing jail time. The results: Client got a deferred entry of judgment and then dismissed.

    Client charged with several felony counts of possession of Marijuana with intent to sell. Client was involved in a medical marijuana grow. Case was reduced and later dismissed.

    Read More
  • Sex Crimes

    A client with alleged 2 Felony Sex charges and he faced jail and sex registration. The case was entirely dismissed.

    Client charged with prostitution; facing jail time and sex offender registration. Result: NO JAIL TIME AND NO SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION Deferred Entry of Judgment.

    Read More
  • Domestic Violence

    Client charged with domestic violence, with great bodily injury. Case reduced to a misdemeanor with time served.

    Read More
Email Us For A Response

Learn How We Can Help

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Areas We Serve

Pleasanton Office
5674 Stoneridge Drive, Suite 204
Pleasanton, CA 94588

Toll Free: 800-785-9556
Phone: 925-400-6635
Fax: 925-463-3661
Pleasanton Law Office Map

Manteca Office
210 East Center Street
Suite 10
Manteca, CA 95336

Toll Free: 800-785-9556
Phone: 925-400-6635
Fax: 925-463-3661
Manteca Law Office Map

Back To Top